In Photo Tips

The city and the road in the modern office building background

There is something almost pure about street photography. So much of the beauty behind it comes from the composition and your ability to capture a moment of life that otherwise would seem mundane. Yet, outside of a big city, it can be hard to get the right subject, not because suburbanites are boring, but because there are so many more personalities in the city.

Different cities have different feels and attitudes, each one unique and diverse in their own way. East Coast, West Coast and Middle America have their own charm, so embarking on a cross-country road trip is a worthwhile adventure for any street photographer.

New York

Considered the cornerstone art and cultural capital of the world, New York City is one of the best places for street photography in the United States. With a little more than 8 million people within the city, you could take about 300 portraits a day for your entire life to capture everyone.

Times Square is the place to go if you want to see some interesting people. With an estimated 360,000 people passing through every day and dozens of street performers there to entertain, some interesting aspect of life is will inevitably show itself.

While there are plenty of places to drive while in the Big Apple, sometimes the traffic can be a bit much for those who aren’t used to it. If you feel brave enough, get a firsthand look at New York City driving by renting a car; for everyone else, the subway is a great way to see the city and its people.


The Windy City isn’t all wind, sleet and snow, despite what the name might suggest. In the spring, Chicago is full of color and life just like any other major U.S. city.

Millennium Park might not come to mind when thinking Chicago. But between the Cloud Gate, or The Bean as it’s known to locals, and the various gardens, there’s something for every photographer. The Cloud Gate is extremely popular with photographers because of its reflectiveness. The polished stainless steel looks seamless and reflects everything and everyone around it.

If nature is more of what you’re looking for, Lurie Garden is 2.5 acres smack in the middle of one of the biggest cities in the nation. The designers strived to show off the beauty of native Illinois plants, and it’s home to the world’s largest green roof.

San Francisco

While San Francisco only has a fraction of the population of cities like New York and Chicago, that doesn’t mean there aren’t interesting areas in this charming city.

Pier 39 is filled with interesting shops and performance artists, many of whom are extremely unique. The Pier also attracts tourists waiting to get on the ferry to Alcatraz Island or just want to see the sea lions that lounge on the rafts in the harbor.

San Francisco’s Chinatown is the United State’s most famous Chinatown in large part due to its proximity to Angel Island, which is sometimes referred to as the Ellis Island of the West since it was a major immigration office for those entering from China. Chinatown is an eclectic mix of new and old, with pagodas right next to modern office buildings. The traditional markets and restaurants provide an interesting mix of colors and people that could keep a photographer interested for weeks.

Any trip to the Bay Area wouldn’t be complete without seeing Lombard Street. This winding street is recognizable to just about anyone and provides an amazing view of the city from one of the city’s highest points.

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